ODJ: Slow Learners

April 28, 2016 

READ: Acts 10:9-36 

Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? (v.17).

As we grow older, we often come to the realization that certain people we doubted were right all along. How many of us have looked back and secretly wondered, If only I would have listened to my parents, who knows how many more opportunities I could have had? Who knows how many hurtful mistakes I could have avoided?

Some of us experience this epiphany sooner than others. I happened to be one of those who took a little longer—especially in my journey of faith. That’s why I’m grateful that the Bible includes people like Peter. He seems to have been a bit of a slow learner when it came to realizing who Jesus was, along with the profound and radical implications of faith in Him.

For instance, Peter is the one who tried to straighten Jesus out when He began to teach the disciples that the time was coming when He was going to suffer and die (Mark 8:31—32). Later, the disciple realized that what Jesus said was perfectly true.

The New Testament goes on to show Peter’s up—and—down struggle to understand that—because of Jesus—Gentile converts didn’t need to keep Jewish laws to become part of God’s family. Even several years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Peter was “very perplexed” when God told him in a vision to eat “unclean” meat and to visit the home of a Gentile family (Acts 10:9—27). Later on, the apostle Paul had to confront Peter when he stopped eating meals with Gentile Christians who weren’t following Jewish food laws (Galatians 2:11—14). Eventually, Peter came to realize his error (Acts 15:1—11).

Are you struggling to understand certain parts of what it means to follow Jesus? Know that you’re not alone. Thankfully, God is patient with slow learners.

—Jeff Olson

365-day-plan: Ezra 3:7-13

Read James 1:5 and consider what could happen if you truly brought your questions to God. 
What are you struggling to understand in your faith journey with Jesus? How can you grow in your knowledge and understanding?